Effective test approaches, efficient tool support, testing certification

Insight

CAT as a testing certification Gold Standard

Learning Objectives for Foundation & Agile Testing Certifications

The iSQI® Certified Agile Tester qualification can be seen as a 'Gold Standard' for the current software testing qualifications offered by ISTQB® at Foundation and Advanced levels and by iSQI.

This article focuses initially on agile qualifications, but the points made about the learning objectives, examination methods and practical aspects of the courses also apply more generally to Foundation and Advanced levels of qualification.

Learning Objectives

Knowledge, Skills and Certification

Certification path for example job roles

ISTQB®, iSQI® and TMMi® certification schemes examine software testing knowledge and skills via clearly defined learning objectives set out in their syllabi.

Whilst I agree with some of the points made at http://www.professionaltestersmanifesto.org/, I disagree with the final clause about certification in the opening statement (my italics):

standards compliance is no substitute for knowledge and skills, and that possessing a certificate demonstrates neither."

Testing at 1000 MPH

On 2nd July 2014 Andy Green gave a brilliant keynote presentation at the World Congress for Software Quality entitled “Testing Quality at 1,000 MPH?”

He will drive Bloodhound SSC, as he did ThrustSSC which on 16th August 2014 became the holder of the longest standing FIA World Land Speed Record.

The Bloodhound SSC website has a large quantity of content explaining the project and its progress. The YouTube links in this article are to two of the videos which Bloodhound SSC has uploaded.

Best Practice, Good Practice and The Devil's Triangle

It’s better to talk about ‘good practice’ rather than ‘best practice’ as the appropriate software testing approach is so dependent on organisational and project context. When determining an appropriate test approach we need a good understanding of the frequently conflicting priorities between product quality and the project constraints relating to timescale and budget.

Are defects always more expensive to fix later on in software development and maintenance?

I was very amused by Mark Debono’s diagram ‘A bug goes skateboarding on Boehm’s Curve’ posted on LinkedIn’s ‘EuroSTAR Software Testing Community’ group in May 2014. However I don’t agree with the statement “bugs are always more expensive to fix later on in the process” (my italics): www.linkedin.com/groups/bug-goes-skateboarding-on-Boehms.

For those of you who don’t belong to LinkedIn, or that particular community, my view is:

Outsourcing testing related risk

Organisations try to outsource operational areas and projects for a variety of reasons. A key objective is often for a specialist outsourcing company to take responsibility for a significant element of risk at a fixed price.

Specialist companies will readily fix price provided the client company can give them something meaningful to fix on. This raises interesting questions when outsourcing testing, as testing will always be part of a wider project or programme of work. Outsourced testing is not the same as independent testing, as the desire to outsource risk will often result in a different demarcation of roles and responsibilities. At its worst an outsourcing approach can result in frequent and acrimonious negotiation relating to who is responsible for testing overruns. At its best outsourcing will add significant value as a result of the risks relating to overruns being either avoided or minimised.

This presentation was presented at the EuroSTAR conference in 2002. Areas covered included common pitfalls, how to draw the boundaries when fixing price, and the use of automation frameworks to reduce the impact of key risks that are outside the tester’s control.

Testing Catch-22s

Tips for Test Managers

Projects invariably have to deliver within severe timescale and cost constraints. This often leads to testers feeling that they have been set an impossible task. Test Managers face the challenge of organising testing so that testers have achievable tasks which can be measured and controlled effectively.

There are many Catch-22s for testers that need to be resolved as part of delivering effective and efficient software testing.